You’ve just gotten your first ATV or side by side, and the first thing you want to do is hop on and ride. Beginner riders tend to make mistakes that often result in crashes, rollovers, and serious injury, so it’s best to understand how you can avoid potential accidents when with simple instruction. Whether you’re riding on your own land or are heading out to ride on a public trail, don’t let yourself look like an amateur by making these four common mistakes:
1. False sense of security.
Oftentimes, new riders fail to fully understand the complexity and power of their ATVs or side by sides. They tend to ride neglectfully and more aggressively than their experience should allow, making for a greater risk of accidents. New riders also don’t think to wear the proper gear such as long pants and shirts, boots, riding gloves, and a helmet. If you don’t have the proper gear, you could end up seriously hurt during a ride.
What else can come with a false sense of security? Rollover accidents.
2. Rolling over.
Rollover accidents are the leading cause of ATV injuries and deaths. Though ATVs and side by sides are quite heavy, they’re still fairly easy to roll over.
1 | Looping out. The easiest way to roll over your machine is looping out. This is when you hit the gas too hard, the front end will spike up, almost like a bucking horse. This can throw you on your back, pinned underneath the ATV.
2 | Slick conditions. The second most common reason for rollovers often comes from having a bit too much fun sliding around in the mud. The tires are designed to grip the ground, and once even one tire takes hold of a hard surface under the mud, the momentum change will often cause a rollover. Even if you’re riding on grass and it looks dry, there could still be enough moisture present to make for slick riding conditions.
3 | Steep slopes. You think you’ve found your bearings and are ready to take on that steep incline. For obvious reasons, this can cause a rollover, whether you’ve attempted to ride up the incline or down.
3. Control of throttle.
You may think you can skip the how-to phase and get right to the extreme speeds, however the second you miscalculate that throttle by thinking you’ll have a controlled ride, you’ll find yourself looking pretty foolish. Take the time to go slow and figure out how much “thumb” is too much for the throttle, and get used to the speed and power that your ATV is capable of delivering.
4. Incorrect ATV loading.
Never ride an ATV up a ramp into the back of a pickup truck. Pickup beds are relatively high off the ground, meaning the steep ramp incline and high center of gravity can easily cause an ATV to flip backward, potentially pinning the rider underneath. To safely load your ATV, first place a step stool next to the ramp. Lean over the ATV from the side of the ramp and gently coax the machine upward. As it goes up, use the step stool to be able to continue reaching the handlebars.
For more information about ATV safety and how you can have a fun and safe ride every time, read up on our vehicle safety details, which include proper riding gear, where not to ride, and more. Every CFMOTO dealer also provides a hands-on safety training course so you can better. Locate your nearest CFMOTO dealer to schedule a time for you to learn about important ATV safety.